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Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Master of Public Policy Dual Degree

This program is designed for aspiring research scholars interested in obtaining both a Master of Public Policy and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education.

Prepare to apply in-depth knowledge of policy processes, content and analysis to critical questions of contemporary education policy.

Program Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Master of Public Policy dual degree will prepare you for a career in educational policy by providing rigorous training in education, policy research and analysis. 

Course of Study

The first academic year is devoted to MPP classes, the second to PhD classes, the third to completion of the MPP practicum, the fourth to the PhD qualifying exam and the fifth to the PhD dissertation. You must complete 84 units (48 from the PhD in Education and 36 from the Master of Public Policy). View the full list of required courses.

As a student in the dual degree, you are not required to take the four-unit management elective or the 12-unit specialization elective requirement from the MPP program. Instead, you will be required to take 12 units of analytic coursework/electives.
You are also not required to take the 12-unit cognate block and will only take 12 or the 15 required units for the research block from the PhD program as the scope of these block requirements are interdisciplinary or research-oriented and naturally suited to combine with the MPP.

Application Process

You can enter this program in one of two ways: 

(1) Apply simultaneously to both programs (pay one application fee and then apply for a USC Graduate Admission fee waiver for the second application fee, noting that you are applying for a dual degree) and state your intent on each application to be admitted to the dual degree program.

(2) Apply to the PhD during the first semester as an MPP student. If admission is approved by each school, you will be admitted to the dual degree program.


Learn more

PhD/MPP Dual Degree

PhD in Education

Master of Public Policy

USC Catalogue

Program Details

Degree Awarded

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Estimated Length

5 years



Program Cost

$2,244 per unit for the first year and tuition and stipend funded by assistantship for years 2-5


  • On Campus

Next Deadline

December 1, 2023

Take the Next Step

Program Contact

Laura Romer

Laura Romero

Director, PhD Program

Alex Atashi

Alex Hazard

Assistant Director, PhD Program